Chiefs decrylonger school holidays

Kamva Mokoena

Kamva Mokoena

The Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) has criticised the Department of Education for extending the March school holidays.

It said the long holidays allowed for initiation schools to prey on pupils.

Two young initiates died in a clash between rivals near Flagstaff in Eastern Cape at the weekend.

The two rival groups fought over initiation rules that govern the practice of circumcision.

The victims were among the 46 who were hospitalised after botched circumcisions in the area.

Chairman for Contralesa, Chief Mwelo Nonkonyane, said Education Minister Naledi Pandor was to blame because she had approved extending the holidays.

"We even wrote her a letter about the issue, but nothing has been forthcoming from her," said Nonkonyane.

Department spokesman Lunga Ngqengelele promised to take Nonkonyane's concern to the minister of education.